The Road To Cleveland, Part Two

**IN THE POLITICAL PARTY CONTEXT, “PC” MEANS PRECINCT CHAIR/CAPTAIN/COMMITTEEMAN

The Delegate Confusion In Pictures –Or How The GOP Nullifies Your Vote

In part one, we went through some delegate basics, and began digging deeper into the case for becoming a PC. PCs are the gatekeepers to the convention, as they elect the state level delegates. PCs do more than that, however. As we touched on lightly in the post about Precincts and the GOP, they also get out the vote, recruit new party members, and manage the voter database, along with other responsibilities. This is literally the most powerful job in the GOP or the Dem side of the uniparty.

Grabbing A Precinct Seat 101

There are two ways to get this job: election or appointment. Every 2 years, shortly after the general election, the GOP hold their annual meeting. At this first meeting, district and precinct lines may be re-drawn (think Gerrymandering), party rules and by-laws will be voted on by the “vested” PCs (those who have held their position long enough to earn a vote, typically more than 1 year), and if needed officers will be elected/re-elected.

At this meeting or subsequent local meetings, the PCs will be either re-elected, or replaced, and vacant seats will be filled if anyone wants to fill them. In between elections, an empty seat is filled by appointment. The interested voter tracks down the District Chairman, or the equivalent in your state, and asks to be appointed to the seat. You will almost never hear a NO when you ask this question. Unless, of course, you tell this person you hate the GOPers and want to dismantle the exiting uniparty.

The seat is then yours until the next election. Some time before that election, you’ll be asked to state your intention to keep the seat, and gather some signatures. Then at the elections, precinct voters will get to vote you back in, or choose between you and a challenger.

To be elected to a precinct seat, you usually need a number of signatures, often quite small, to get on the ballot. Then you need voters to turn out at the election meeting to vote you in. You can obtain both by volunteering to canvas and GOTV in your precinct, and getting to know people. Once you have a PC seat, you typically will hold it with little or no effort, as long as you keep in touch with your voters.

If you are a challenger, then you’ll  need to spend some extra time networking and building a voting block to get you in. The rule of thumb here is 1/2 the registered republicans + 10. For instance, in my precinct there are 230 republicans registered. So when my seat comes up for election, I will have 125 of my voters ready to vote for me to insure nobody can steal it unless they enroll new republicans.

My seat will likely be uncontested, however, as I am in a deep blue precinct, and nobody held this seat for the previous 3 election cycles. As a rule, precinct seats in deep blue areas are often empty, as the GOP doesn’t bother putting anyone in place in areas they have ceded to the Dems. The most prized seats, and the hardest to contest, are in large precincts in battleground states and counties, and in “Bellwether” states.

The best way to get a seat if to be appointed mid term, as this gives you time to get to know your voters, time to recruit new party members for the next election cycle, and time to learn how the party works. It’s also a lot easier to get your votes and signatures for the next election than it is for an outsider, as the PC has full access to the voting rolls and is responsible for keeping voters in the loop.

I Got It–What Now?

Keep your eyes and ears open, and your mouth shut. Unless, of course, you are asking for information from your Chairman, and you should be doing that frequently. In most places, the requirements are minimal–1 meeting a month, seldom longer than an hour or two, and another hour or two contacting your voters.

You will often be allowed to contact your voters by any means you choose–Facebook group, fliers, phone calls, meetings, and emails are some of the methods I have seen others use. You seldom have deadlines either, as there usually isn’t much going on between elections.This is the time when you can begin learning the various by-laws for your party, so when the reformers outnumber the GOPers in your state with a solid majority (preferably a super majority),  you’ll know how to oust the GOPers you want to replace, and get the rest to behave.

 

 

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One thought on “The Road To Cleveland, Part Two

  1. Pingback: The Road To Cleveland – fortunesthoughts

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